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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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because its fascinating to think about
another frog
Life, Work, and Everything
I feel deeply moody today. Not quite emo--more popcorn and hot chocolate in bed while reading Dan Savage and old fandom wank wanks while I mull the universe. I never consider this particularly healthy--any period of time burning through snark comms en masse feels like the mental equivalent of eating a lot, lot, lot of sugar. I always come out of it faintly cynical and oversensitized to stupidity.

Argh. I can't even write. My head's filled with functions and cout statements and pointers and I gave myself a headache reworking one of my own programs into All Classes, All the Time.

I keep thinking in terms of addresses and databases searches and if I could build an array-based static search engine for my website for practice. Which would be a lot of work for little return--who on earth would use it? Why?--but it's an intriguing theoretical problem. Of course, I have no idea how to use C++ with a web interface, but I think I can translate it to Perl or Javascript if I got that far.

It's almost a controlled outcome experiment in how other people think; I want to see if I can anticipate by keyword what they'd look for in a way that is deeply inflexible; it would basically be a very complex non-random game of rock, paper, scissors--given ten keywords for them to choose to describe the story, did I guess it correctly?

I have never felt more boring. It's actually worse than that; I'm no longer restricting my random programming questions to people who, say, know what I'm talking about. No, I throw it out at anyone in range.

I think the problem is, I'm unhappy, but I'm not sure why. I mean, not in a life-sucks sense, but in a dopamine deprivation sense. And a tired sense. And a frustration sense. And a non-writing sense. I can't--settle on a single thought. Even knowing this happens pretty regularly--like the ADD version of writer's block, but instead of nothing being there, it's like a bottleneck of too much so nothing comes through--it's irritating.

So instead. Something else.

Here, In this Place
dalaire asks here:

Why in the world does someone wander onto a fanfic site on a rec and click into the last chapter of the fanfic first? Do they expect to understand more about the entire plot by getting clued in on the ending? In an A/U? o_0

My answer below the cut from her lj, expanded.

1.) I've read the story already and the ending gives a quicker refresher of events to see if I'm in the mood to re-read it--in other words, is this the story that was awesome and made me happy or awesome and made me cry? This is a big thing with OTP authors who write like, six supernovels or an OTP (or fandom) with a lot of novels or supernovels. Like HP? I've read enough that when I'm reading for mood, I have to double check adn make sure, yes, this isn't the one where x character actually dies tragically right after the wedding.

2.) I don't entirely trust the author's summary or (if applicable) warnings. One used to have a bad habit of dropping a torture scene into the middle of a fic, randomly. Or another pairing, really randomly. Or character bashing. *Really randomly*. Or--you get the idea. If I'm in the mood for it, yes, but if I was reading OTP only happy, and the author is known for several types, even pairing codes and warnings aren't enough.

This one makes me laugh--except for pairing switch, I am this kind of author. Part of it is just carelessness, but the actual start point of my warning carelessness is the fact I don't post anywhere but my webpage and livejournal. Lists--I never would have dreamed of skipping pairing codes, spoiler codes, warnings, ratings--but that was when I was sending my fic to someone else's house. In my own house, I'm lazy. I leave chips open on the couch, my socks on the floor, and don't format my headers.

Actually, I think the only thing I warn for is for pairing--my flist is not necessarily single-pairing, but most of them have been reading here for like, over a hundred years and while no, I don't specifically clean the house, I do try to warn them if I move the couch around (or change pairings) so they'll, you know, keep visiting.

And to be fair--I don't warn on Crimes Against Humanity at all because really. The name alone is a pretty good warning.

3.) The really cool part is in the last chapter. *G*

So I'm curious now--anyone else jump to the end of a fic? When and why?

ETA: Also, naps. I need to nap less. Naps do not help. They just make me melancholy.

To make sure the pairing I like really does end up together, happily. Also, cause I grew up with Harlequins, this is when the sex would happen, so it's reading the good parts first.

To make sure the pairing I like really does end up together, happily.

Yes, and especially, that neither one DIES HORRIBLY.

I don't do that with every story, but there are a number of authors I just don't trust anymore.

Jumping to the last part: sort of but not exactly the same as you.

a) I remember the fic well, but it's long and I'm not really in the mood for rereading it all, so I'm jumping straight to the payoff.

b) I don't know the fic at all and don't know if it's something I might be interested in. As you say: pairings, warnings, unhappy endings - I want to know that in advance. Maybe the summary contains something that makes me suspect there might be characterisation involved that I can't stomach. Checking the ending saves me time - no point in wasting time on a story I'm not going to enjoy anyway!

(Deleted comment)
I do that a lot, for that exact reason.

I read the end of every fic before I start it, and I do it with books too. Fiction is my escape and if I'm not going to like the ending, I don't want to get invested in the beginning.

What Torakowalski said :-) RL does a fine job of messing with me, I don't need fanfic to dump on my tender sensibilities, too.

Today I was wondering, what if there was a language where you had to phrase everything as a question? Instead of

for (ii = 0; ii<10; ii++) {

you'd write:

What starts at 0, ends below 10, and increments by 1?

We could call it Jeoparc++!

- Helen

SOmetimes, the last post is the only post that has all the other parts tagged to it.

Or, I have a habit of reading really long fics that start off with a favorite rare pairing that somehow transforms to a common pairing.

And while I love that fic, maybe I want the clark/whitney fic and not the clark/lex.

Or harry/charlie instead of harry/draco, etc...

(and sometimes, it's because I can't remember if it's a fic I started to read an dliked and than hated the ending...)

I skip to the end of fanfic and profic stories both, at least if they're long ones -- not so much to see how the plot works out, because most of that is taken care of before the last few paragraphs, but in order to get an idea of who's going to be left standing (which isn't quite the same as wanting to find out if anyone dies), and more importantly for me, to get an idea of what the mood and tone of the ending are going to be. If it's going to be one of those everyone-is-crooked-except-for-me-and-thee-and-I-wouldn't-count-on-us-either kind of endings, I have to be in the right mood for it -- sometimes I like my fic noir, and sometimes I don't. Likewise for bleak; I really have to be in the right mood for bleak. And if the mood and tone of the ending are a gross mismatch with the beginning, then I have to figure that the writer is being either stylistically very daring or stylistically just plain inept . . . and I really, really have to be in the right mood to read all the way through a long fic on a gamble that it's the former rather than the latter that's the case.

I jump to the last part of a story on LJ to check the number of comments, and whether it's all reader responses, or whether the author answers back, or if the author gets into it with one reader and so the comment count is unnaturally high.

And if I just happen to be on that last page checking out the comments and perusing for missed warnings, I may just skim for style, completeness, and what the ending is like.

I don't do this every time, but sometimes I like to know in advance if there's a payoff (read: orgasms) at the end of a story. It's not that I always need there to be sex in the fic I read, by any means, but if NC17 is what I happen to be in the mood for, I may check to see if a fic follows through, so to speak, or if the action stops before anyone gets naked. *g* (Of course, often I'm so intrigued by the end of the story that I'll go back and read from the beginning anyway!)

I do it really, really rarely with fanfic. I did it more with fic where it's really long and posted all on a single page- recall a fair number of X-files fic like that. Anyway- I could see how long I had to go to the end, and I'd kind of skim. Which- isn't quite jumping to the end. But sorta. And I'm way less likely to do it with chaptered fic- don't ask me why.

Also- if I get partway through and it's kind of boring, I'll start skipping ahead.

I skip to the end more with pro-fic. I try REALLY HARD not to- but I still do it sometimes. Mostly if I'm tired, know I can't finish the book before I go to bed, and am dying to catch a hint of how it's all going to come together. So usually- it's a compliment. Unless I really don't like the story and don't plan on reading the whole thing and just want to see how it ends to get it over with. I'm thinking Eragon was the last one I disliked and ended up skipping to the end. It sucked. ;)

I can't abide a miserable ending. I'm a big wussy, I'll admit it. If it's going to end with me being depressed for days, I want to know so I don't get all invested and then hate myself for reading it (even if it's totally awesome; it's not a quality judgment, just - well, as mentioned, I'm a wussy).

I love reading the end of stories first, period. It's something I love to do. I can relax in my reading, because I already know what's going to happen more or less, so I can enjoy the journey there.

It's a habit I got when I had no money to buy books and had to decide on the the library which book to borrow based on what they wrote on the back (more often than not not useful). So I got used to skipping through the story to see if it would interest me, mostly by jumping through then end. It's habit that carried over to fanfiction. I only don't read the end when I know the author and trust him/her to deliver something great regardless. Or when I really trust whoever rec the story.

pretty much to double check pairing switch and/or happy (or unhappy) endings. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to read a really involved story that ends with death and depression. When you are depressed, its the last thing you want. Or if it starts out with death, I do a check of the end to make sure it's resolved in some manner. Other times I don't mind/or care and I don't check.

I don't read most WIPs, so I wait until the (SPN) newsletter links to the last piece and I click it open in a tab. If the webpage is...not to my sensibilities, I will skim it first to make sure that it's worth the time for me to click open 9 more tabs.